A Novel Curriculum for Ophthalmology Training of Emergency Medicine Residents (COPTER)

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

West J Emerg Med


Background: Emergency Medicine (EM) physicians must effectively manage ophthalmologic emergencies, yet many EM residencies teach Ophthalmology via the traditional off-service rotation model. Training during medical school is limited and variable. Objectives: Replacing an apprenticeship model of ophthalmology training with an innovative longitudinal curriculum may improve EM residents' competency in treating eye complaints. Methods: The Curriculum for Ophthalmology Training of Emergency Medicine Residents (COPTER) is designed to cover all the Ophthalmology content in the Model of EM over 18 months. It consists of three, 4-hour sessions employing didactics and hands-on training in diagnosis, equipment use, and procedures. A knowledge test was administered to 16 PGY1 EM residents before and immediately after participation in COPTER session 1; the test was re-administered 8 months later (before session 2) to assess knowledge retention. These residents also completed a survey at the end of PGY1 to assess self-perceived competency in the diagnosis and management of select ophthalmologic complaints. The same survey was administered to 16 upper-class residents who had completed a 2-week ophthalmology rotation during their PGY1 year ("Pre-COPTER") and was re-administered after they completed one session of COPTER ("Mixed Curriculum.") Paired t-test and Wilcoxon Rank Sum test were used to analyze the data. Results: Residents displayed improved knowledge immediately after a COPTER Session (p=0.0012 compared to pretest), and this improvement was sustained 8 months later (p=0.0261). There was a statistically signifcant increase in self-perceived competency in evaluating medical eye complaints (p=0.0493) and in acute glaucoma management (p=0.0221) between the Pre-COPTER and the Mixed Curriculum. Conclusions: An innovative, multi-modal ophthalmology curriculum improved EM resident knowledge of the diagnosis and management of ophthalmologic emergencies. When compared to an apprenticeship/rotation model, this curriculum also enhanced self-reported competency in managing medical eye complaints. COPTER may improve the care of patients with ophthalmologic emergencies. [Table Presented].



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